Infrastructure – Network Rail - Hydraulic Jacking, Transfusion Flat Jacks, Bespoke Structural Remote and Real-time Monitoring System and Automated Jacking

John Lewis Project - Birmingham New Street Station

Network Rail

Description of Project

Birmingham New Street station is a complex, multi-phased programme to increase passenger capacity for one of Britain’s busiest transport interchanges. It includes the comprehensive redevelopment of the station, as well as the delivery of a new retail centre, called Grand Central, anchored by a 250,000 sq ft John Lewis department store – all while keeping the existing station operational.

Approximately half of the store’s footprint sits on top of an existing station concrete structure andthis necessitated a thorough review of both the existing frame and foundations which then resulted in a more complex design than would ordinarily be expected.

To ensure loads are transferred through and not carried by the existing structure, an online monitoring system has been installed to the 18 new columns that sit on the concrete structure. This system consists of highly accurate level monitoring equipment, strain gauges and load cells. Underneath the existing structure steel columns have been installed to add extra support. A system of flat jacks has been fitted to these columns which allows any settlement of the new foundations to be jacked out and the forces above the below the existing structure to remain in balance. The columns can also be monitored during the entire construction phase and the later fit-out programme, again ensuring the loads are not too high.

Professional Services

The works involved designing, assisting structural consultant engineers and supplying numerous services (supply and fix) and products ranging from hydraulic jacks (200 tonnes), permanent flat jacks (920 tonnes), compression load cells, wheatstone strain-gauges, tilt senors, movement LVDTs to a bespoke remote and real-time load and structural monitoring system throughout the superstructure.

The system recorded relative structural movement and jacking loads throughout the construction phase works (from start to finish). In total, approximately 35 million raw data information was recorded, processed and displayed for key personnel to review. This ensured that designed forces and load-paths were distributed through suitable supports without overloading and overstressing elements of the structure.

Project Features

  • Automated Hydraulic Jacking System
  • Remote / Real-time Monitoring System – 34 million raw data readings logged and recorded
  • Heavy Duty Flat Jacks – ranging from 560 tonnes upto 960 tonnes
  • Grout Injection and Transfusion
  • Temporary Propping Support Systems
  • Jacking and Propping Design and Engineering Calculations
  • Supply of Precise Load Cells and Strain-Gauge
  • Testing and Calibration within testing-rig
  • Geodetic Precise Tilt Sensors

Duration of Works

October 2013 to February 2016

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